So many reasons to be anxious.
Yet another story of violence and hate. Another list of names. Another slideshow of faces. Faces of those with only one fact in common: Same place, wrong time.
Yes, we really do have reasons to be anxious. Many of which are simply due to the possibility of accidents or failing health. We worry when our kids take the car across town or across the country, and we worry when an unexpected phone message is left from the doctor’s office. We worry about losing jobs or cars breaking down or “being found out” or tripping in front of an audience.
And we know, truth be told, that our anxiety has little effect on reality or the future. The wisdom of Corrie Ten Boom tells us…
Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength…
carrying two days at once.
It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time.
Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow…
it empties today of its strength.
Yes, we know what not to do. But what we can and should we do?
Sometimes finding a solution is as easy as asking…
Anxiety weighs down the heart,
but a kind word cheers it up.
I hate to say this, but I don’t think we speak enough kind words into those we know and love with the sole purpose of alieving or fending off anxiety.
Yes, we are nice to each other. And we do the appropriate sad face and head tilt when things go south. Hugs abound and words of concern travel fast from friend to friend.
We design elaborate plans, finding all sorts of ways to be helpful and encouraging. We set up meal lists and gather around for prayer. We rally and do.
Please do not misunderstand. I’m not finding fault with what we do.
But maybe what we all need most in time of need is a kind word. Not a lengthy letter. Not a gift or fancy box of chocolates (although always welcome).
Maybe just a little note card with you are such a good mom…or…
… I like being your friend.
… Remember the time I ate the whole pie?
… or the time we couldn’t find your car because I was driving?
… Your house is such a home to me.
… Don’t ever forget how much you mean to me.
I’m beginning to appreciate technology. I don’t love it, but I have to admit that appointments dumped directly into your calendar and contacts that can be reached with the tap of a finger are all remarkably convenient. Cool. Fast.
But don’t even try to tell me that getting a little note in your real mailbox with a real stamp and your very own street address on the front isn’t heartwarming. The joy of opening it, feeling the heavy-weight paper slide out, anticipating the colorful or funny or artistic design on the front. And handwriting on the inside. Written by someone who cares for you so much that they put a stamp and address on a real envelope with a sweet or silly card inside and kind words, written by hand.
In many ways, so much more than a quick text of inventive spelling and emojis.
No, I’m not hatin’ on the text messaging. I use it just like everybody else, even at times to say things that are meaningful and important.
But I’m on a hunt to find ways to be more intentional with kind words. Ways that will soothe the anxious hearts of those I love or maybe barely know. Ways that my words make life better, less heavy.
Because our hearts can be weighted down with anxiety.
And our kind words can cheer them up.
Got any ideas for spreading the kindness?